Gareth Southgate's youngsters set for exciting new England era but don't label them the Golden Generation

Andy Dillon by Andy Dillon / 12 October 2018, 14:18

Gareth Southgate has done more work than any of his predecessors to remove the weight of history that has dragged England down for 30 years.

Although the irony of ‘Football’s Coming Home’ was lost on the Croatians at the World Cup, all that 1966 stuff and the pompous belief that England is somehow a major power has proved their undoing time and again.

So it was in Russia when the fired up Croats’ superior technical ability and underdog mentality provided fire in the bellies to overturn England’s shock lead.

The limitations of Southgate’s squad were brutally exposed in two games against Belgium as well.

Two countries with feeble domestic leagues who exist off the radar, reminding us what England must do to be considered genuine tournament candidates again.

And so Southgate is choosing to blood up to six youngsters in this evening’s UEFA Nations League match in Croatia. It’s not a rerun of the World Cup semi-final - there are too many changes in the England squad for that.

No, this is where Southgate can opt to roll out a new era for the national team with the possibility of six debutants over the next few days, starting behind closed doors in Rijeka then onto Spain next Tuesday.

 

Much has already been debated and dissected about Jadon Sancho, Mason Mount, Nathan Chalobah and James Maddison.

Throw in Fulham keeper Marcus Bettinelli and Brighton’s Lewis Dunk and there’s new names on the international rosta to excite us all.

But this is a plea more than a whinge. Should they, and one-cap Harry Winks, play well over the next five days, can we not jump the gun and label them the Golden Generation?

This phrase still haunts England and Southgate.

It has as much to do with our disappointments and downfall as the ignorant notion that because England won a home World Cup 52 years ago, they have a divine right to sit at football’s top table forever more.

Trawl back in time at the hoo-ha which surrounded the emergence of Steven Gerrard, David Beckham, John Terry, Frank Lampard, Ashley Cole, Wayne Rooney and a raft of other stellar n names who between them have 22 Premier League titles and nothing more than the last eight of a major international tournament.

It’s still the subject of fierce argument how the sum of these collective talents failed to add up to something more in a Three Lions shirt. But it should be crystal clear.

Pumping young sportsmen’s minds full of lavish praise, over-flattering them, glibly labelling them the ‘Golden Generation’ combines to make one massive ego problem and one huge let down on the pitch.

Southgate’s efforts to pour cold water on all this has worked extremely well so far. Never before has a nation been so in touch and so supportive of a team which is quite so poor.

The ‘English disease’ in football terminology used to be hooliganism, which like the game itself, we exported years ago, only for the foreigners to start doing as lot better than us very quickly.

Pragmatic Southgate is turning that around. The egos have been clipped. He is fully aware of what his players can and can’t achieve on a pitch.

He knows what gaps need to be filled and is searching everywhere to plug them: including the Championship and Bundesliga.

What is needed are good football brains, quick feet but cool temperaments from all of us not to get carried away with whatever the latest crop of England seedlings achieve over the next few days. Let them take time to flower.

Betting Odds Tips

Managers Departed

Last man down

Mark Cooper
Mark Cooper
(Forest Green)
11th April
VIEW ALL CASUALTIES
x
Bet £10 Get £40 in Free Bets
Exclusive Promo Code
M40
JOIN NOW
#AD 18+. Play Safe. New customers using promo code M40 only. 1x per customer. Min £/€10 bet. Min odds 1/2 (1.5). Free bets of 2 x £/€15 issued after first qualifying bet settles. Max £/€10 Bonus. 35x wagering requirement. Max redeemable bonus: £25. Casino bonus expires after 72 hours. UK & Eire only. Additional T&Cs, including free-bet, game, location, payment method and stake contributions apply. begambleaware.org.
x
Up to £100 in bet credits
Exclusive Promo Code
100BET365
JOIN NOW
#AD Open Account Offer. Up to £100 in Bet Credits for new customers at bet365. Min deposit £5. Bet Credits available for use upon settlement of bets to value of qualifying deposit. Min odds, bet and payment method exclusions apply. Returns exclude Bet Credits stake. Time limits and T&Cs apply. The bonus code ‘100BET365’ can be used during registration, but does not change the offer amount in any way. 18+ begambleaware.org.
Advert Disclaimer
Thesackrace.com is a free online resource which endeavour to provide helpful and useful content and odds comparison to its visitors. Please be advised that Thesackrace.com accepts affiliate commission from the companies appearing on the site, and agreed commission levels impact the location and order in which the companies (and/or their products) are presented on the website. Any ratings that appear on this site is determined by our subjective opinion of the brand but also based on market share and reputation, each brand's conversion rates, commission paid to us and general consumer interest. Company listings on this page don't imply our endorsement. We do not feature all providers on the market. Except as expressly set forth in our terms and conditions, all statements and warranties regarding the information presented on this page are disclaimed. The information, including odds, which appear on this site is subject to change at any time.
Next in firing line Hottest Manager Markets

Premier League

Next Manager to Leave

Arsenal

Next Manager

Atletico Madrid

Next Manager

Barcelona

Next Manager

Celtic

Next Manager

Crystal Palace

Next Manager

England

Next Manager

England U21

Next Manager

Germany

Next Manager

Liverpool

Next Manager

Manchester United

Next Manager

Newcastle United

Next Manager

Paris St Germain

Next Manager

Preston North End

Next Manager

Real Madrid

Next Manager

Republic of Ireland

Next Manager

Southampton

Next Manager

Tottenham Hotspur

Next Manager

Valencia

Next Manager
x
Bet £10 Get £40 in Free Bets
£30 in free sports bets + £10 Casino Bonus #AD 18+. Play Safe. New customers using promo code M40 only. 1x per customer. Min £/€10 bet. Min odds 1/2 (1.5). Free bets of 2 x £/€15 issued after first qualifying bet settles. Max £/€10 Bonus. 35x wagering requirement. Max redeemable bonus: £25. Casino bonus expires after 72 hours. UK & Eire only. Additional T&Cs, including free-bet, game, location, payment method and stake contributions apply. begambleaware.org.
BET HERE
We use cookies to provide statistics that help give you the best experience of our site. By continuing to use the site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn more
Got It